Bangor, Maine is the last stop in the U.S. for many troops on the way East because it is the closest major airport to Europe and points east. The Bangor Daily News reported at 9:45 yesterday evening that approximately 150 new combat troops are leaving Bangor for Iraq. Read the article here.
They are not “new” troops because they are replacing soldiers who are returning. They are not “combat” troops because , although trained and classified and as combat troops, they are not expected to engage in combat. Their function will be to train others to engage in combat.
That sounds like a very fine line of distinction. The returning troops saw little actual combat recently. They were combat ready, of course, but the arriving soldiers will also be ready if needed.
In the fanfare surrounding “the withdrawal of the last combat soldier from Iraq” the fact that 50,000 troops remained was completely overlooked by the press. That is an awful lot of teachers.